Marriage: What’s God got to do with it?

Contributed by Christine Burrows.

Last night Peter (husband) and I were flipping channels and landed on a sit-com called The New Normal.  We caught the last ten minutes of it which culminated in one of the lead characters (a male) proposing marriage to his (male) partner in a candlelit room while the surrogate mother carrying a child for them was hooked to a sonogram device – so that their baby could witness the engagement.

Before I comment further, let me say that watching this scene reminded me of a very real situation of a close college friend of mine. About eight years ago, her brother-in-law asked her husband to provide sperm so that he could become a father. The brother-in-law paid both an egg donor and a surrogate, and wanted to use his brother’s sperm so that he could make a child that was closely related to him through DNA. Since then, my friend’s brother-in-law has made four children, using his brother’s sperm and the sperm of his partner, donated eggs from different women, and rented wombs from other women.

Both of these situations – in TV Land and in the Real World – seem so far removed from what God had in mind for us in the sacrament of marriage. It saddens me to think of all the hoops people will jump through in their pursuit of the “right” to parenthood. It saddens me just as much when I think about how many other people are being used so that these men (but it could be anyone) can call themselves “married” and “parent”. Two thoughts on this:

  1. The gifts of our spouse and our children are truly gifts from God, and therefore holy. Holiness can’t be bought, designed, or manufactured. It has to be sought through relationship with God, and this requires submissiveness to God’s will. Homosexual partners who believe they want marriage can’t be fully submissive to God because their sexual union doesn’t have the capacity for life.
  2. When we forget about marriage and parenthood as reflections of God’s love, we think we can manipulate people and situations to earn titles and roles. While there may be love and good intentions at the heart of these pursuits, there is no submission to God’s will. And, I dare say, there’s no seeking holiness.

So that I don’t end on a soapbox, let me give a few shout-outs to some married holiness-seekers:

  • Let’s give it up to Sarah and Gary for submitting to God’s will to welcome another little Galvin to the world!
  • What about that McGonigal clan for generations of submission and holiness-seeking through marriage and family-building!
  • And to all that have answered the call to holiness through true, unselfish partnership in marriage, I pray for you because I know its sacrificial and difficult at times. Stay the course! It’s making God so happy and He’s got great things in store for you because you’ve answered His call.